Mets and Giants trade JD Davis for Darin Ruf

The Mets have taken over first baseman/leftfielder there reputation of the Giants for third baseman JD Davis according to Andy Martino from SNY. According to Joel Sherman of the New York Postthe Giants also picked up southpaw Thomas Szapuckic and A-ball pitchers Nick Zwack and Carson Seymour in trade.

At the risk of calling the obvious, trading suggests that the Mets think Ruf can help them more than Davis this year, as both are bat-first right-handed batters. Ruf, who recently turned 36, will continue to serve as a lefty pistil this year. He has racked up a 155 wRC+ in 337 at bats against left-handers since returning in 2020 from KBO, which ranks fourth in MLB as a whole. Ruf also succeeded against right-wingers in 2020-21, but has fought against them this year. He earns $3MM during the season, of which about $1MM is left. He also has a $3.5 million club option for 2022 with a $250K buyout. Ruf and fellow new addition Daniel Vogelbach provide an excellent platoon at the designated batter for the Mets.

Davis, 29, is under team control as an arbitration-eligible player for both the 2023 and ’24 seasons. While not known for his gauntlet, unlike Ruf, Davis is capable of playing third base. Since joining from the Astros in January 2019, Davis has posted a 125 wRC+ for the Mets in 1,100 at bats. He has shown no significant pack split during that period and has shown some dazzling Statcast stats at times. This year, however, Davis has only posted a 102 wRC+ for the Mets in 207 at bats and hasn’t made many starts lately. Davis became particularly expendable with the Mets’ signing Edward Escobar in November plus the acquisition of Vogelbach. Davis played in 140 games for the Mets in 2019, but has only played in 195 games since 2020 due to injuries.

In Szapucki, the Giants get a lefty with a few big league appearances to his name. Szapucki mainly started as a starter in the minors, posting a strong 21.6 K-BB% in 64 Triple-A innings this year. Prior to last season, Baseball America rated him as a 45-grade prospect, saying he can “land three pitches for strikes,” and needed to recover his speed after spending 2020 at the Mets’ alternate venue. Indeed, Szapucki did, running 90.9 miles per hour in his lone MLB appearance in 2021, but pitching 95.1 in a brutal outing on May 25 in San Francisco, giving up nine earned runs while hitting only recorded four outs. Apparently, the Giants buyer liked what they saw on that outing, despite their batters beating up Szapucki with four homeruns.

Zwack, a 24-year-old southpaw, moved to High-A in May and excelled with a 22.8 K-BB%. A 2021 17th round pick out of Xavier University, it remains to be seen if Zwack can sustain his success when facing opponents his own age. Seymour, a 23-year-old right-winger, moved to the Brooklyn Cyclones’ rotation around the same time as Zwack. With a percentage of 25.0 K-BB%, he has also been successful apart from the longball. Seymour was drafted by the Mets in the sixth round in 2021 from Kansas State.

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